• By: Keith Whittier

From Vision to Reality: Construction is underway for Aquatopia

(Left to right): Catherine Neville, Mayor Jim Watson, March Ward Councilor Eli El-Chantiry, Nicholas Bott, Bruce Firestone

Mayor Jim Watson and March Ward Councilor Eli El Chantiry were on hand yesterday, April 15th for the soil-turning ceremony of Aquatopia in Carp.

Coming this July, Aquatopia will be the largest public indoor water garden in eastern Ontario. Featuring aquatic botanical gardens, koi ponds, fountainscapes, living walls, and a natural mineral spa, Aquatopia is aiming to become the destination in eastern Ontario and western Quebec.

 Planterra - Michigan. Similar concept.
Planterra – Michigan. Similar concept.

This glass-enclosed conservatory will allow visitors the opportunity to experience a true tropical environment year-round. With space to accommodate 150 people, a café, and a local Cordon Bleu chef, Aquatopia will also be a one-of-a-kind venue for, corporate meetings, private functions, and even small weddings.

Outgrowing its current location on 215 Stafford Road West, Aquatopia will be the new home of The Pond Clinic. Specializing in bringing pond ecosystems to backyards, The Pond Clinic will give guests the chance to take the Aquatopia experience back home.

Pond Clinic backyard transformation
Pond Clinic backyard transformation

Aquatopia is the vision of owner Nicholas Bott, who along with his wife and fellow owner Catherine Neville has been planning the move to Carp for over three years.

The rural location will provide the perfect surrounding scenery for the conservatory that would not be possible in the city.

Prominent local entrepreneur, Ottawa Senators founder, and real estate broker Bruce Firestone, and his son Matt Firestone have been instrumental in getting this conservatory/retail store off the ground. The entrepreneur couple enlisted their help to secure land and to over come bureaucratic obstacles.

All is in place now for Aquatopia to be a success and like all new businesses the timing of the opening is crucial, as Bott and Neville are hoping the move to Carp will coincide with business from new residential home developments in Kanata and Barrhaven.